We're pretty lucky here in the Seattle area. When the eclipse happens this Monday, we will come fairly close to totality. Here in Bellevue, we'll see a 92% obstruction of the sun at 10:21 am. That's pretty exciting!
As a photographer, you might think that I'm preparing to take lots of eclipse photos. While I might take some photos of Little M during the eclipse, my main focus will be on experiencing the eclipse with him in safe ways. Cause let's be honest: he's a three year old. Left to his own devices, he'd be running amok while staring at the sun and yelling at the top of his lungs, "Mama, the sun is a CRESCENT!"
Solar Eclipse Glasses
I came across this post on facebook that shows a pair of eclipse glasses attached to a paper plate. I thought this was brilliant! I will be constructing this plate this weekend and practicing with Little M to make sure he understands he can only look at the sun with this setup.
I also plan on constructing a pinhole viewer. I'm hoping this one goes over well with him because right now, Little M is crazy about shadows. And while the projection isn't exactly a shadow, I'm hoping the similarities are enough to keep him interested. This video from NASA has a great tutorial for making your own pinhole viewer!
If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I might try to create a projector using binoculars or a telescope. I feel like this option would be the most fascinating to a three year old. This video from Exploratorium shows you how you can make your own.
Of course, there's the chance that nothing will stop him from looking at the sun. In that case, NASA has plenty of live streaming options, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch TV.
If you want to find the exact time and how much of the eclipse is happening in your neck of the woods, you can enter your zip code here. There are also a several really cool maps that the path of the moon and its shadow on the earth.
Will you be venturing out to watch the eclipse? Or will you be streaming it instead? Let me know in the comments!